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Sweden’s coronavirus cases top 31,500

Sweden reports that 1,886 patients are in ICU

STOCKHOLM, May 20. /TASS/. The number of novel coronavirus infections in Sweden increased by 724 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 31,523 (315 infections per 100,000 people), while the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the country climbed by 88 to reach 3,831, the national healthcare agency reported Wednesday.

Sweden reports that 1,886 patients are in ICU. The highest numbers of infections (10,738) and deaths (1,879) are identified in the capital region.

The Swedish authorities claim that the epidemiological situation in the country has been taken under control. The reproduction number (R value) of coronavirus in Sweden currently stands slightly below 1.

"As you know we are ramping up testing in Sweden," Swedish chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told a press conference. "We would like to underline how vital it is to carry out tests in care homes because we know that seniors are a huge risk group."

The Swedish government shut down national borders for foreigners not leaving in the EU after the union’s decision, public gatherings of more than 50 people are not advised. The authorities also recommended introducing distance learning for high school, universities and adult classes, while nursery, primary and middle schools stay open. The country or its separate regions did not impose any lockdown measures, while shops, cafes and restaurants stay open.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 4,990,400 people have been infected worldwide and more than 324,900 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 1,961,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.